Well, 2014 is the year of major late-night shake-ups, and there’s no sign of slowing down: E! confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Chelsea Handler’s talk show, “Chelsea Lately,” will end in August.
“We are very proud of ‘Chelsea Lately’s’ long-running success and the unique space that the series carved out in late night television,” said E! president Suzanne Kolb in a press release. “Chelsea brought a distinct voice to late night with her acerbic wit and fearless commentary and we look forward to providing fans with a memorable send-off that lives up to that tradition.”
Nice statement, but it’s obvious there’s no love lost between E! and Handler. For one thing, Handler has been very vocal about wanting to leave the network once her contract expires this year. She has openly bashed the channel, calling it “a sad, sad place to live,” and her manager told anyone who would listen that she wanted a new gig.
“I will always look back at my time on E! as most people look back at their time in college. I’m glad I went,” Handler said in the announcement, possibly the most lukewarm such statement ever. In the past, she’s also deemed the network “a failure,” saying: “They don’t know what they’re doing. They have no ideas.”
Seems like it’s best for both parties to say goodbye — no word on Handler’s next move. Despite it all, E! promises “a month-long celebration of special episodes and surprise guests” leading up to the series finale on Tuesday, Aug. 26, at 11 p.m.
To recap in the late-night world: Jimmy Fallon took over the “Tonight Show” from Jay Leno in February. David Letterman is stepping down from “The Late Show” on CBS in 2015. Stephen Colbert is replacing Letterman and ending his own show, Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” in December. Larry Wilmore will get Colbert’s spot on Comedy Central. Craig Ferguson is saying goodbye to “The Late Late Show” on CBS at the end of the year. No word on Ferguson’s replacement yet.
Letterman’s retirement signals a possible generational shift for late-night TV